Charter flights between Siem Reap and China’s Guiyang city are to run three times a week from the end of this month, in a move expected to attract thousands more Chinese tourists to the country.
The flights are being organised by the Khmer First Investment Holding Group, Meijia Global Travel Services, Gui Zhou International Travel, and Angkor Sky.
A Ministry of Tourism statement said the flights will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“The charter flights hope to bring more than 30,000 Chinese tourists from China’s Guizhou province to Cambodia each year. This is a contribution to the strategic plan to attract two million Chinese tourists by 2020, as well as reinforcing the sister city partnership between Siem Reap and Guizhou, which was signed in June 2017,” the statement said.
Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Cambodia Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said the country must do more to cater to increasing numbers of Chinese tourists.
“To attract Chinese tourists, we should consider our Chinese language skills, because most of them do not know English.
“We should also have more modern malls like Thailand, because they like shopping, and we should diversify our tourism products, for example creating artificial tourism sites. Currently we depend on historical, coastal and ecotourism sites,” Mr Sinan said.
“The private and public sectors should work together to diversify tourism products.”
Speaking at the “Beauty China” campaign in Phnom Penh in July, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the Chinese are Cambodia’s biggest tourists.
In the first five months of this year, 440,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia, up 35 percent compared with the same period last year. Cambodia last year recorded around 900,000 Chinese tourist arrivals.
Mr Khon said that under the China-backed Belt and Road initiative, the development of tourism in countries along the old Silk Road, including the Asian hinterland and Cambodia, would be enhanced.